Another Way To Fix Retail. (Yes, it still sucks.)

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

I seem to really enjoy ranting about how much retail sucks right? Yes, I do but that isn’t why I keep talking about it.

Retail needs fixing. The old standard won’t work anymore, except maybe for JcPenny. But then again the new CEO may just be on to something. Here is why & here is why not. At least, in my opinion.

One of the biggest issues just about anywhere is that no one seems to like change. Seriously, in one way or another we all have had some sort of issue with change at some point. Don’t lie to me.

Change seems to be (in my opinion) one of the most polarizing things that all humans deal with. So here is my question. How do you make change less overbearing? At least in the context of Retailers attempting to make change to compete with increasing competition from online retailers & boutiques (boutiques aren’t going anywhere.)

The best example of this thus far is JcPenny. They made some pretty extreme changes very fast. They were explained, but it was too brief & too sudden for most people. The biggest complaint that I have heard is that JcPenny did away with coupons. I admit when this happened, I stopped shopping their quite a bit. JcPenny has been around for over a century & part of the reason why they had been around is because of customer service & because they were a great discount retailer.

Removing the coupons really pissed some folks off. Along with the pricing strategy changes. I think that Penny’s missed something when they decided to make these changes.

1) They never fixed their mobile site.

2) They made the changes way too fast.

Everything happened at once & I think that is what scared off the customers. To fix this, I think that these changes should have happened a little more gradually to give the customer base an opportunity to adjust to the changes. Something else that JcPenny seems to be doing is trying to turn it into a high end retailer like a Nordstrom’s or Neiman-Marcus. No. No. No. JcPenny is a discount retailer, not a high end one. If they keep trying to “upscale it” they are going to isolate the mass base of customers that don’t shop at Nordstrom’s & Marcus.

I think that what I mentioned above is where JcPenny is going wrong. Horribly wrong. The last time I went in the store (about 3 months ago), they made some pretty drastic changes like adding polos that are almost $40 bucks. JcPenny shoppers come because they like the discounts.

I honestly think most of the changes that JcPenny has made will work, I just think that it should have been a little slower.

What do you think? Do you think that when it comes to retail the more drastic changes should happen a little slowly in order to give people the chance to adjust? Especially since many people aren’t big fans of change.

Far From Idle

Come. Find out why.


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